Thursday proved to be a very good day for Quarter Celtic Brewpub as the staff learned the results of the Australian International Beer Awards competition. QC racked up a total of five medals — one gold, three silvers, one bronze — out of the six entries they submitted to the competition, which features beers from around the world. QC was the only New Mexico brewery to compete.
I briefly chatted with co-owner/assistant brewer David Facey over a pint of Crimson Lass, which took gold in the Irish Red category. It was the only beer to win gold in that category, as the AIBA scores things slightly differently than, say, the Great American Beer Festival. Basically, everything is graded on a points scale. A beer that earns between 14 and 15.4 points receives a bronze, between 15.5 and 16.9 earns silver, and 17 and above earns gold. Thus, there can be multiples of each medal per category. Still, to say that Crimson Lass was the only beer to exceed 17 points in its category was fairly remarkable.
Bringing home silver were Quarter Porter in the Robust Porter category, Morbuck IPA in the Imperial/Double IPA category, and Clark IPA in the Australian Pale Ale category. Bronze went to Kill or be KILT in the Scotch Ale category, where no beer earned a gold medal (tough crowd).
David said a big reason for QC to enter a competition like this is to get a good idea of just where its beers fit in terms of categories. Nowadays there are so many to choose from, it can behoove a brewery to start long before GABF rolls around to try and figure out where it has the best chance to win a medal. As an example, Marble moved its Pilsner into the Keller or Zwickelbier category and continues to rack up the medals, rather than assign it to a German or Bohemian Pilsner category.
Regardless of the intent, anytime a brewery in just its second year of existence can pull in some hardware is a good thing, and testing the waters, so to speak, in advance of a major competition is always a good thing.
Next up on the awards docket? David was stopping by the brewpub to ship out QC’s entries to the upcoming North American Beer Awards, which should be announced some time in early June. That will be the last major national/international competition until GABF in October.
Congrats to Quarter Celtic on these awards. We forecast many more in the future!